swans

one swan swam on a mere.
we saw one more.

This is perhaps my favourite product from a recent experiment. The challenge involved writing only with letters which had no “heads” or “tails” – i.e. I didn’t use any letters which extend above or below the line. It turns out that this is fully half of the alphabet, and a good deal of punctuation on the side. The constraints of working only with the letters w, e, r, u, o, a, s, z, x, c, v, n and m are quite frustrating, but yield interesting results! The result is “flat poetry”, poetry with both hands tied behind its back, where each line is unerringly neat as a ruler.

If you give it a go, please comment below!

I also wrote a few longer-form story poems in this format, which I’ve shared in three separate posts on my Patreon page. If you’re interested, you can start reading here.

UPDATE: this type of writing is called a lipogram, specifically the omission of a letter or letters from the writer’s bag of tools. I don’t know if anyone has done flat poems before. Other lipograms may, for example, avoid using all vowels except the letter “a”.

3 thoughts on “swans

  1. seven men race over an azure ocean:
    a cavernous warzone.
    our ace curses.
    recon saw us. a rare error.
    worse: no arms now. no cover.
    raw nerves are venomous.
    one man excuses our woe:
    war was our crown once.

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